College Basketball Picks: NC State Wolfpack vs. Virginia Cavaliers
No. 19 NC State Wolfpack at Virginia Cavaliers
Tuesday, 1/29/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN2
Opening Point Spread: Virginia -2.5
Current Betting Line: Virginia -2.5
Opening Total: 127
Current Total: 126
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
NC State has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it comes off a 91-83 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels as four-point home favorites, while going OVER the total in two consecutive contests. The Wolfpack have five players averaging in double figures, with junior forward C.J. Leslie leading the way in scoring 15.4 points per game. The squad gets 79 percent of its scoring from its current starting five, and 94.6 percent from its top six players. NC State is 3-1 ATS as a road underdog of three points or less over the last two-plus seasons, which can’t be ignored when making your college basketball picks against the spread Tuesday.
The Wolfpack rank fourth nationally in shooting 50.9 percent from the field, while sitting sixth in scoring 79.8 points per game. NC State is the only program in the ACC with four players ranked among the league’s top 25 scorers. In the team’s 16 wins, it is averaging 83.3 points per game, while scoring just 65.5 points a game in its four losses.
Virginia has won three games in a row and prepares to play its first ranked opponent of the 2012-13 season, as it comes off a 65-51 victory over the Boston College Eagles as nine-point home favorites. The Cavaliers are 5-12 versus top-25 foes during the four-year Tony Bennett era, which is important to note when looking over the college basketball odds page. The squad has won its last 11 games at John Paul Jones Arena, while Tuesday’s opponent has never won in the building in four tries. Virginia is 9-1 ATS at home this season.
The Cavaliers have two players averaging in double figures, with junior guard Joe Harris leading the way, scoring 14.8 points per game. He has scored 12 or more points in 16 of 19 games, while junior forward Akil Mitchell contributes 12.3 a contest. Virginia has held 16 opponents, including all six ACC foes, under 60 points. A big reason for that success is leading the conference in allowing opponents to hit just 29.2 percent of their 3-point attempts.
Sports bettors will likely back the Cavaliers due to their 11-3-1 ATS mark in their last 15 games, while the Wolfpack are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
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